Manny Pacquaio is the most recognized face in boxing. On November 12th he will meet a man he's already faced in two historic bouts in the form of Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez. If you've been keeping up with HBO's 24/7 as of late, you'll witness a Pacquaio that seems more motivated than he's been in his last few fights and for good reason. Marquez is the only opponent in recent memory that has given the world's best fighter serious problems in the ring. Their first classic occurred in May of 2004.
In the first round Marquez was knocked down three times by Pacquiao. Marquez recovered and then went on to give Pacquaio interesting problems with his counterpunching style that gave him most of the later rounds. Pacquaio was still very much a raw, unapologetic brusier at the time that lacked many fundamentals that he has gained later on in his career. The fight was called a draw and quickly became the topic of debate amongst fans and writers alike. The two men would wait four years to continue another 12 rounds of classic boxing.
In March of 2008 Marquez outboxed Pacquaio once again but was dropped in the third round of the fight. Many felt Marquez did enough to earn a victory but it was Pacquaio who walked away with the spilt decision. Marquez called for an immediate rematch but was turned away as Pacquaio moved up to fight David Diaz who at the time was the WBC Lightweight World Champion.
Next weekend Pacquaio and Marquez are set to meet for the third time. Here are some highlights from two recent media conference calls featuring both men:
Manny Pacquaio Interview
CraveOnline: What has Márquez been saying to irritate you?
Pacquaio: Mainly because he was saying that he was robbed in the first two fights. This third fight will answer all of the doubts and all the questions.
CraveOnline: How important is it for you to knock out Márquez?
Pacquaio: I am not going to say I am going to knock Márquez out but I will say that I trained really hard for this fight and we did a lot of things and made a lot of sacrifices so if the knockout comes it will come. I just want to make sure I am in the best condition come November 12. If the knockout comes it will be a reward for the hard work that I did. I worked hard for this fight making sure that I am ready for the fight and in 100% condition on that night mentally and physically.
CraveOnline: Márquez countered with a right hand in first fights – how will you deal with that?
Pacquaio: I know Márquez’ style very well from the first two fights so that’s where we will start again. We have started different moves for his counter-punches so I am ready for this fight.
CraveOnline: It seems as though there is animosity for the first time in one of your fights. How do you feed about Márquez overall?
Pacquaio: I will never underestimate Márquez. I trained hard for this fight and feel strong. This is a lot different because over the past few years I have improved a lot. I think I am a lot better now mostly because of my right hand. There is also a big difference in my power and moving up in weight from our last fights is going to be a difference. I move better now too.
CraveOnline: Do you feel this fight will have more excitement than two previous ones?
Pacquaio: I believe this fight will be more exciting because there will be a lot more boxing in the ring because of Marquez’ style. In the first two fights, there was a lot of boxing in the ring and this time there will be more.
CraveOnline: Is there a Márquez weakness you will exploit in this fight?
Pacquaio: Yes, we know the weakness but we won’t tell you that. You have to tune in on November 12th.
Juan Manuel Marquez Interview
CraveOnline: Do you think this will settle questions?
Maquez: That’s why we are doing this third fight. The first two were very close and this fight should end all doubt. We are not the only ones saying we won the fights. There are a lot of fans and media out there saying the same thing- that we won those two fights.
CraveOnline: How do you feel going into this fight after the first two?
Marquez: I feel very happy with all the training I have done for this fight. We are going to clear all the doubts from the first two fights and I feel very good about it.
CraveOnline: There is extra motivation for Pacquiao about what you said about the first two fights…
Marquez: Well, if he is upset about what I said about winning the first two fights – I am upset that I didn’t get the decision. I am motivated just as much as he is. We all have opinions and my opinion is that I didn’t get the decisions I deserved.
CraveOnline: Márquez had problems moving up in weight to fight Mayweather – why do you think this is OK?
Marquez: I had problems moving up but I would rather fight Pacquiao three or four more times than fight Mayweather once. Mayweather is a defensive fighter – he doesn’t let you fight, but we know Pacquiao comes to fight and he is a spectacular fighter, he is always going to give you a fight and that’s why I know it will be a war between us.
CraveOnline: How do you take the right hook away from Manny?
Marquez: Obviously when we fought the first two times the right lead was the one we had to worry about – that was the big one, the one we tried to nullify. It looks like he has a better right hand now. You have to go up in the ring with the mentality to be ready for both. Focus on what you have to do and be ready for both hands.
CraveOnline: How do you feel about the odds 9:1?
Marquez: It doesn’t do anything for me. People can make bets and if they like to odds that is fine with me. It has nothing to do with my fight. I have to go into the fight with the mentality that I have to win each round and if the opportunity comes I go for the knockout. I am not going to hesitate if the opportunity is there.
Manny Pacquaio vs. Juan Manuel Marquez happens this Saturday, November 12th on HBO PPV.
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